Tips for selling unwanted household items online

(WTTV/WXIN) — For many people, the early part of the year includes some decluttering around the house.

Maybe it’s part of a new year resolution, or just a goal you have for your home. Decluttering often leads to selling some items online, which is something you need to be careful about.

Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist., eBay and other social media sites are convenient outlets for selling things you no longer want or need around the house. However, the Better Business Bureau has several considerations and precautions to keep in mind to make sure your sale is successful and safe.

  • Choose the appropriate platform. Whether it’s clothing, electronics or fitness gear, you need to consider the audience when you make that listing.

  • Know the value* of what you’re selling. This should include some online research and could involve an appraisal for valuable items.

  • Make a quality listing. Make sure the description and pricing is very clear, and consider the look of the photo you include. That includes paying attention to what’s in the background of the picture.

  • Watch out for shady buyers. Scammers will often watch online marketplaces and pose as buyers. They will sometimes offer to overpay for your listing in order to draw you in. Be very careful with anyone who wants to make a transaction outside the selling platform, or anyone who starts to ask for any personal or sensitive information.

  • Be cautious with in-person transactions. It’s a bad idea to invite someone you don’t know to your home for an exchange. It’s a much safer plan to chose a public space for such a transaction. Experts often recommend meeting outside your local police department, or the parking lot of a large store.

Of course, you can always decide to donate your items to the cause or charity of your choice if that’s what you decide.

BBB.org is a great resource for looking up online marketplace business profiles, filing a complaint or writing a customer review. Learn how to avoid overpayment scams when selling online and visit BBB Scam Tracker to research and report scams.

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